I am sure there are a few fan boys of the original Wicker Man who have been eagerly awaiting to see how the remake is. I have not seen the original, so this will not be a comparison of the two reportedly different films. What I can tell you is this, the remake is awful! The Wicker Man is a contender for worst film this year and that is saying something, considering there have been several very weak films. What is really sad is that I thought this film at least had potential. Director, Neil LaBute, has made several films, such as In the Company of Men and Nurse Betty, which have gained lots of acclaim. The Wicker Man will in no way, shape, or form allow him to achieve this success again. The cast looked to at least be intriguing with both Nicolas Cage and Ellen Burstyn in it. Soon disappointment set in and I found out that these talented actors weren’t really any good in their respected roles, but that is just one reason why The Wicker Man fails to deliver on every level.
If you are still interested in seeing The Wicker Man, it centers on a police officer, Edward (Cage), who begins to investigate the disappearance of his ex-fiance’s daughter. He travels to a small island that seems to have missed just about every trend that has taken place over the last one hundred years. Even better, these communal farming folk seem to be hiding some very strange activities. The rest of the film consists of Edward running around, doing his detective work. As exciting as that may sound, it truly is not. Joe fell asleep (which NEVER happens) if that is any indication of how dull this film is.
There are two things that are worth mentioning in this movie. Angelo Badalamenti’s (Mulholland Dr.) score, as usual, has some great moments. However the film is so awkward that the score is used poorly at times and sounds almost overbearing, but still might be the best part of this “horror” film. The cinematography, at least occasionally, was fine. There were some shots I did not care for, but at least at the beginning, there were some fitting moments.
However, that about exhausts all that is truly good about this film. There is some flat out bad delivery with lines. The opening, which I am sure you have seen teased on television, was absolutely pointless to the overall film. Also what the hell was with that dripping bag that Cage looks into at the beginning? We don’t see what is there and it serves no point, other than being another awkward moment in a terrible film. The story is generally predictable with silly twists that want to tie up the gaping plot holes. Several edits look sloppy. The flashback dream sequences were also poorly executed, failing to add any girth to this meager picture. There are several laughably bad lines of dialogue, most uttered by the crazy town folk and some towards the end asserted by the usually dependable Cage. There are many meaningless characters such as the one played by Leelee Sobieski. There is even a freaking CG ocean, used in place for the money they didn’t have to shoot on a real island.
Where did that money go too? Well my best guess is that the money went right into James Franco’s pocket! Yes, one of my least favorite actors of all time makes an appearance in the film and it could very well be his best role because he mostly just smiles and says nothing. What the hell were the filmmakers thinking? The ending is the worst part of all, with its trite tactic to leave an eerie impression on the audience. Instead it made people boo and leave bitterly. It should really say something when a test audience demands its money back after a free movie…..
The Wicker Man is a cumbersome film lacking in anything tantalizing or fun. This is one piece of celluloid that deserves to be burned.
– Brandon Hill, MoviePulse